Ryan Bird moved a giant step closer to earning a Pompey deal and smiled: I’m living the dream.
The prolific non-league defender, turned striker, bagged two goals as Guy Whittingham’s men opened their pre-season campaign with a 5-0 success at the Hawks last night.
And Bird was the star of the show, opening his Blues account after just 48 seconds.
The 24-year-old added a second on 41 minutes with a deft finish and was the width of a post away from claiming a hat-trick in a perfect 45-minute display.
Pompey’s coaching staff were impressed with what they saw of the man who was playing Southern League division one central football for Burnham last season - four levels below the Blues.
Bird admits he is pinching himself to be leading the line for Pompey after working on a building site as an electrician two weeks ago.
He said: ‘To score after 48 seconds is unbelievable.
‘It was probably one of the luckiest goals I’ve scored, but also the most important.
‘I’m loving life. I’m buzzing. Two weeks ago I was working on a building site as an electrician and playing non-league football. It’s living the dream.
‘I’ve loved every minute of it and, hopefully, something can come of it. I’ve had a taster now and want more.
‘I was hoping to score one, but to score two and get the response I’ve had has given me a real boost.
‘It was nearly a hat-trick in 45 minutes with the shot that hit the post. It’s out of this world, really.
‘I can’t believe I’m playing up front with David Connolly. He’s got 41 caps for Ireland!
‘People say there is sometimes tension when you do things like this, but I get on with everyone brilliantly.
‘They’ve all been nice to me and I feel like one of the lads.
‘People are saying good things to me, so I really hope something can happen now.’
Bird will miss the friendlies against Bognor and Braintree as part of a pre-arranged holiday with his girlfriend.
League sides like Mansfield, Wycombe and Newport are all keen on the 6ft 4in hitman – but Fratton Park is where he wants to be.
Bird said: ‘I’ve booked two holidays for my girlfriend’s birthday. It looks like I may have to miss one of them now!
‘I’ll have to cancel one and lose it, but that’s a small price to pay if something can happen.
‘I’ll be back next Thursday so I’ll miss Bognor and Braintree.
‘There are other league clubs interested in me. But Pompey is by far the biggest and, obviously, this is where I want to be.
‘The fans have been brilliant to me since I’ve been here. Even on social networking sites they’ve been contacting me and saying they hope things work out. It’s unbelievable the backing I’ve had.
‘To follow in the footsteps of all the great players that have been here would be ridiculous.’